Dealing With Souvenirs
One part of a vacation that so many people fail to take into account is the souvenir. When you go on vacation, you almost always want to buy something to remember your trip by and some of us, for some unknown reason, feel the need to buy others a souvenir from their vacation. In any case, so that you do not go broke on your vacation shopping for trinkets, take a look at some tips that will help you get the memories while saving a little money.
1. Budget For Your Souvenirs
Fail to plan and you plan to fail. A cheesy expression, true, but it is absolutely on target. So many people get blindsided by the cost of souvenirs because they did not have them in the regular budget. Your going to buy them regardless so add them into the trip budget and set a limit.
Setting a limit in advance will give you a target to shoot for and keep you from going crazy. Just be sure to stick to that limit. If it is a $200 amount, don’t let it balloon up to $400, be disciplined. If you have kids, also give each one a set amount that they can spend. Once they hit that limit, that is it. It will make people think twice about the more frivolous items out there and buy something that is a bit more practical and reasonable.
2. Plan On What To Buy
Have an idea of what you want to buy for a souvenir in advance. This will allow you to both stay on budget and start shopping around for a deal as soon as possible.
This is an especially good idea for those gifts that you plan to buy for friends and family. Plan out some meaningful yet hopefully inexpensive items that you want to buy and then start looking for them as soon as you start your vacation. Some good ideas for friends and family that will not break the bank are postcards, t-shirts, bottle openers, etc. Things you can pick up for just a few dollars.
3. Buy Your Souvenirs In Advance
This will not work so much for the souvenirs that you want but it is a great idea for friends, family and even your children. All of those cheap yet overpriced souvenirs can be found for a reasonable price online. Just order them well in advance and save big.
T-Shirts are a great example of this. It might cost you $30 to buy a t-shirt at Disney but that shirt or a very similar one can be found for $10 on Amazon. The same thing goes for all those little souvenir trinkets like ash trays, bottle openers,snow globes, etc. Buy them cheap on line pre-trip and avoid the markup. It can be your little secret.
4. Shop Around
Just like everywhere else, prices will vary on your vacation. The closer you are to attractions, the more expensive these things will be, because shop owners need to pay for the expense of the rent for their prime location. Shop a little more away from the action, away from the tourists, and save a lot of money.
Also, do not be in such a hurry to purchase all of those souvenirs. Window shop for a few days until you can tell what a good price is. Then, a day or two before you leave, do all of your shopping with some good local pricing knowledge.
5. Take Your Own Pictures
Many resorts offer family vacation picture packages but they are quite expensive. Sure, they can help you capture some memories but you are probably more than capable of taking pictures on your own.
Take your own pictures and save. You can let those resorts take your picture but you do not have to buy the package. After they take your picture, ask them to take another picture using your own camera. Most will oblige.
6. Use Receipts As Souvenirs
Sounds weird but a lot of throwaway items can be used as a souvenir. Save those plain and concert tickets. If you visit a foreign country, keep some foreign coins as a keepsake. Keep the free local attraction guide from the hotel. A lot of these little things might be something that you find meaningful in the years to come.
7. Buy Everyone The Same Thing
If you have a large group to buy for, buying the same thing can often save you a fortune. If a store is selling 4 shirts for $30, it is a terrific opportunity to knock out a bunch of souvenirs at once. If you have a lot of shopping to do, there is no need to personalize every one. It would be very costly and time consuming. Keep it simple and buy in bulk when you can.
8. Make A Scrap Book
Instead of buying yourself a trinket to remember your trip, plan on making a scrapbook instead. You can put together one rather quickly and inexpensively when you get home, all that you need to do is collect a few free memories. Save receipts, tickets, admission bracelets and of course pictures. If it is legal to do so, even collect things like soil, sand, leaves and/or rocks from the places you visit. These little things, if put together nicely can be the best souvenir of all in the end and it will cost you next to nothing.
Souvenirs are the icing that finishes your vacation but that does not mean that they have to break you. Plan ahead and take some precautions and you can avoid spending a small fortune.